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An Israeli medic walks near soldiers and an ambulance after Hamas claimed responsibility for an attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing near Israel's border with Gaza in southern Israel, on May 5, 2024.

REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israel and Hamas deal up in smoke?

Hope for a cease-fire faded again Sunday as Hamas left the talks in Cairo. This came just days after the group said it saw the latest proposal – thought to have included a 40-day pause in fighting in exchange for the release of hostages – “in a positive light.” But Hamas’ insistence that a deal for the hostages bring an end to the war was a non-starter for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Our test is to continue and stand together until we reach victory,” Netanyahu said Sunday. Hamas plans to return to Cairo on Tuesday, but Israel, which is preparing for a ground operation in Rafah that’s set to start “soon,” ordered around 100,000 civilians living in parts of Rafah to evacuate on Monday morning.

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Jess Frampton

Biden and Trudeau face headwinds … from Gaza

Last Thursday, after Joe Biden promised during his State of the Union to build a pier to deliver aid to Gaza, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet shook the president’s hand, congratulated him on the speech, and urged him to push Israel to do more on “humanitarian stuff.”

Biden, caught on a hot mic, nodded in agreement and said he was pressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I told him, Bibi, don’t repeat this, but we are going to have a come-to-Jesus meeting.”

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Pro-Palestine protesters march in London.

Balint Szentgallay via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Pro-Palestinian protests rock London, Machado prevails in Venezuela, drone shortage woes, Madagascan opposition, joint aerial exercise with Asian allies, a great Great Lake discovery

100,000: In London, 100,000 protesters chanted “Stop bombing Gaza” and waved Palestinian flags as they marched from Hyde Park to Whitehall on Saturday. Officials asked Brits to be mindful of the Jewish community, with Metropolitan Police reporting a 13-fold uptick in reports of antisemitic offenses this month compared to last year.

93: Industrial engineer Maria Corina Machado declared victory in the opposition's presidential primary in Venezuela late Sunday. With 26% of ballots counted, she had 93% of the vote. The question now is whether Nicolás Maduro will allow Machado — who's been officially banned from running for office — to challenge him in the 2024 presidential election.

10,000: Ukraine loses 10,000 drones a month in its war with Russia and is now facing a shortage of parts due to export restrictions by China. Concerns about the impact on Ukrainian defense capabilities have prompted a search for alternatives made elsewhere, including by domestic startups.

50,000: Madagascar’s opposition parties held a rally with 50,000 people to protest what they call an “illegitimate” election process ahead of general elections in November. Last month, the country’s constitutional court dismissed appeals to have President Andry Rajoelina’s candidacy declared void over his dual French nationality, angering opposition politicians who say voters do not want “foreigners” running the country.

1: South Korea, the United States, and Japan have held their first joint aerial exercise in the face of an escalating North Korean nuclear threat and a recent visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Pyongyang. South Korea and Japan host 80,000 American troops and are key American allies in the region.

128: A documentary about the invasive quagga mussel’s impact on the Great Lakes led to the discovery of a 128-year-old shipwreck. Filmmakers came across the Africa, a steamship that went missing in October 1895 while carrying coal from Ohio to Ontario, on the bottom of Lake Huron.

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